Another Flavor Of Vanilla: My Vanilla Debit Card

DDMS IconNever Miss Another Deal - Follow DansDeals on Facebook

Related posts:
Today’s Escapades




In the past I’ve blogged about buying Vanilla Reload (VR) cards (right).

Another flavor of Vanilla is the My Vanilla Personal Reloadable Prepaid Visa card (left). On DDF it’s simply known as MVD or My Vanilla Debit.

I bought 2 of these with $500 each at CVS today with my credit card. There were $7.90 in fees, but this week they are offering $5 in ExtraBucks to spend in the future at CVS if you buy 2 in one transaction, effectively dropping the cost for 2 cards down to $2.90. The ExtraBucks did not print automatically but I showed the teller the offer in the store circular ad on page 8 and they printed a $5 ExtraBucks voucher for me valid for 30 days.

After that I went online to register the card at to activate both cards in my name. Soon they will now mail me a permanent version of the card.

Then I went down the block to Citibank, went to a teller, and took out a cash advance of $500 on each of the cards and was given the money in cash with no fees and no account required.

Other DDF members have reported cash advance success at other banks, like Chase, with no fees.  Be sure to sign the back of your card before going to the bank as your name is not otherwise listed on the temporary card.  If your bank needs a name on the card you may need to wait for your permanent card to come in the mail.

So I got $1,000 closer to the $5,000 spend threshold on my Ink Plus to earn 50,000 points and earned 1,000 Chase UR points for under 0.3 cents each.  To put that in perspective (completely ignoring getting closer to the signup bonus points) if you were able to earn 22,000 UR points at 0.29 cents you’d be able to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris, Sydney, or Maldives for $69/night instead of the normal $1,000/night rate.  120,000 points would give you a business class ticket to Israel (along with a free stopover in Europe and a free one-way ticket to Hawaii in business class as well good for an entire year if you play your cards right) for just $348.

Vanilla Reload is much easier than MVD, though VR cards can be harder to find. They can be bought with a credit card, and then you can go online to transfer the funds to a free Bluebird card, and then from the Bluebird card you can pay off your credit card bills, your rent or mortgage, or any other bill.
The limit on Bluebird is $1,000 on Vanilla reload funding per day and $5,000 of Vanilla reload funding per month. Always nice to have a spouse for things like this 😀

The total cost of this route is $7.90 in Vanilla fees. For that you get at least 1,008 miles (or more depending on the card you use) and more importantly you get $1,000 closer to that spending threshold you may need to meet. But even if you don’t have a spending threshold to meet it’s still buying miles for under a penny a point which is awesome.

You can find stores that sell Vanilla Reloads here, but I’ve had great success at CVS. CVS has a $1,000 per transaction limit, so that’s 2 Vanilla Reload cards of $500 each.  Vanilla Reload is not a Visa, so no ExtraBucks there.

Other Vanilla versions, like OneVanilla or any version other than the ones in the picture above can’t be cashed out via cash advance (like the MVD) or via Bluebird (like the VR).

The Visa versions of the Vanilla gift cards though do earn the $5 ExtraBucks bonus this week.  They can be cashed out via Amazon Payments though, so you can load up on them if you need to meet a spending threshold and cash them out later on in future months on Amazon.  In this post I wrote a workaround for how to cash out the full amount of those and all other Mastercard, Visa, and AMEX gift cards on Amazon Payments.

Leave a Reply

253 Comments On "Another Flavor Of Vanilla: My Vanilla Debit Card"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

david g.

you can also use the card as debit with pin There is a $0.50 fee. so you can load your blluebird card via walmart checkout paying with debit…$499.50


Do I have to register the card online or I could go straight to Citi bank and withdraw the money


I believe the card is inactive until you register online.

Travel Summary

Did you talk to a person at Citi or via ATM? No fees were charged?


@Travel Summary:
No fees, I just asked for a Cash Advance.
Be sure to sign your card before going to the bank.


Is this the same as a withdrawal from an ATM just using a teller? If so its not really a cash “advance” right?
Also dont the tellers need some kind of pin? do they swipe the card?


can i buy theses cards at Office Depot and get 5x points with my Ink card?


so I’m a little confused, which card is the vanilla reload the black card in the picture? I bought that a while ago as a vr card & I am waiting for my permenant come so I could load it to my bluebird am I wrong?


I know you posted the link where to find locations but it doesn’t open for me. Is there anywere near Lakewood that sells the reloads or debit cards.


My understanding is with ink card u get 5x u spend up to $50,000 which gets u 250,000 points . Is that correct?


Did you take out the cash advance with the temporary card or the permanent? Is there other ways of getting the cash out?


same question as Maury, thanks!


Dan most cvs are telling me that I need to use cash to fill the myvanillareload and won’t let me use the debit/ gift cards I buy in an office store it’s like. Have to get lucky to get them to do it. Any advice about this? Also u recommend using my square app to swipe it and this way goes straight to my bank account ?? Thanks.


If you just want to pay off the spending bonus on a new cc, which would you recommend, bluebird or myvanilla?


Can’t find any Vanilla cards in NYC….beh



Dan stated he got the cash advance with the temporary card. He did state that if your bank did not accept the temporary, you would have to wait for you permanent.

“If your bank needs a name on the card you may need to wait for your permanent card to come in the mail.”


Don’t you have to use your SSN when registering? If so, it would seem that that would limit your ability to do this over and over again. I.e., I’m sure MyVanilla would “catch on” if you were registering 4 or more cards every month.

Their business model is for you to start using the permanent card once it comes. If you keep signing up for new cards, zeroing them out and never using the permanent card, they’ll probably shut you down.


On the packaging of the MyVanilla debit card shows “Not a Gift Card”. That’s probably why the pos didn’t apply the promo of gift card.


An ATM would have charged a fee.
No pin is needed for a cash advance from a teller.
It’s called a cash advance, that’s what you ask for.

You can check if your local Office Depot carries them.

I wrote in the post which one is on the right and which is on the left.

At an office supply store, correct.

Try the pharmacy counter.
Square could be good for the other gift cards that can’t be cashed out for free without Amazon.

Reading the post again.

You do enter an SSN for MVD and Bluebird (no credit check).

Could be, but the clerk had no problem giving me the $5 ExtraBucks voucher. It clearly says Visa on it.

Maestra K

I have 3 CVS’s in town. One doesn’t carry the Vanilla Reload cards, one does but you have to pay cash for it, and the third one has them and you can use a credit card to purchase — bingo! )All other avenues — Safeway, Albertsons, Walmart, Walgreens — either don’t have them or require a cash purchase.)


Dan the Myvanilla website says a $400 a day limit on ATM withdraws. I’m assuming the “cash advance” at the teller window bypassed this and allowed you to withdraw the whole $500?




The max card with a SSN is 3. So If you signed up for 3, you can no longer sign up any cards with that SSN. This is a dead end.


Maybe, maybe not 😉


Dan, does this cash-advance-at-bank method work only on MVD, or other prepaid debit card? For example, those visa gift cards we recently bought at Staples?



As far as I know only MVD.
If you find out otherwise then let me know.


@david g.:

To use it at Walmart, will you have to wait for the permanent card and the PIN? Or is a PIN provided with the initial card also?


Their are tons of Visa gift cards at Officedepot. Can these be used on Amazon Payments? Or are only specific ones usable? If yes then which ones? I was able to use the ones from Staples easily on Amazon.


They can all be used on Amazon Payments for free.


@Dan: Thanks. Can you tell me about the PIN to use MyVanilla at Walmart to load bluebird? Do we need to wait for the permanent card to get the PIN?


if the ssn is a prob u could still buy the prepaid reload and load the my vanilla and use it as cash advance


I thought the CVS transaction total was $ do they allow 2 * 503.95 transaction (which is a little over $100?)


There are so many different visa vanillas. How are you chosing which one you are buying? I have been purchasing the visa vanilla gift cards from OD (they say debit on them and offloading via Amazon payments. Are these different from the type of visa vanilla debit card you purchased? and would I be able to use these at PNC banks for cash advances (the visa vanilla gift cards that say debit on them)?


also, are you able to load bluebird with the visa vanilla gift cards paying the $2 debit card fee?


You create a pin when you register online.


Buying from OD is great, 5 points per dollar.
But besides for the 2 cards in the picture above I believe you need to offload them via Amazon.

I don’t think so as they don’t have a pin.


If I purchase MVD at office depot and wanna avoid the whole bank/cash advance thing, can I swipe using square? will there be a fee?


I dont mean a fee from square, I mean a fee from MVD


No fee, but you can do that with any gift card or credit card. At least until Square shuts you down for abuse.


yes but visa gift cards in office depot are $6.95 for each $200. So $2.95 for $500 is a much better deal. Also, why should square care? theyre getting their 2.7%….. please explain


But OD gives 5 points per dollar with Ink cards:

If Square thinks you are taking out cash advances they will close your processor, just like every other card processor would do.


So after registering online and creating a PIN, do I need to wait for the permanent card before I can use it at Walmart to load Bluebird?


So, hopefully one of the office chains sell the MVD. I would say, sice square has no transaction fees, rather then keep swiping the same amount, break them to different amount each time, thereby not raising any red flags. What do you think?


“I bought 2 of these with $500 each at CVS today with my credit card”
Are you able to reload the card online with a credit card after your intial purchase.


Is there a reason why you cannot buy the Visa VR (or MVD) cards and then take them directly to Chase for deposit?


According to another frequent flier blog, Office Depot discountinued selling Vanilla Reload cards nationwide a few weeks ago.
I quote “Well-stocked OD pulled all Vanilla Reloads today after corporate notice. Mgr thinks it is nationwide. Hope not. … was there last night, full of them. Mom went tonight, all pulled. I didn’t believe her so I stopped by and confirmed myself… mgr quoted fraud and also IRS issues (biz owners paying employees with prepaids to avoid taxes).”


@Tayar: anybody have an answer?


how is everything you do ethical?


So I bought Vanilla Gift card that I saw the picture of in CVS circular. Each costing $4.95. I went to two Chase banks and tellers told me they can’t do cash advance on debit cards as the system won’t let them. I’ll try Citi tomorrow.


Both cards in the picture have $3.95 fees.


Did this today in Manhattan. Bought 2 MVD for 500$ each from CVS. registered online and brought them to chase where i cashed them out. not as easy as VR, which seem to have disappeared from CVS’s in Manhattan
kinda a pain that each one needs to be registered with your social security number. someone above said max 3 per SS#. dan, do you have a way around this?




Could Paul have deposited the Vanilla cards to his Chase checking account? Rather then asked for a cash advance?


You’re asking me if he could have deposited the $1,000 cash into his account?



Exactly. Why go to Citi to get a cash advance. Why not just deposit directly to your checking account?


Hi ppl!Anybody have luck with a cash advance at bank of america?


The million dollar question is has anybody found an office supply store that sells the MVD card? That scenario would give you 2500 points per $500 swiped and only $2.95 fee. @ 1.8 cents per mile your making almost $85 for every $1,000 swiped.


dan, any way around the 3 cards max pp?


Which CVS in Cleveland did you find Vanilla Reload cards? the one at Cedar and Green only has the Debit version. Although that seems to be working fine too. Why do you say the Reload version is easier? Seems to me that the debit one is, because then I eliminate Bluebird from the equation?


FWIW, 2 weeks ago, I bought 6 Vanilla Reloads at CVS in one transaction and used AMEX prepaid cards which I bought at Office Depot with my Ink card. It all depends on the clerk. This week, another clerk and a manager insisted it’s “company policy” that you cannot use credit cards to buy them – “cash only”. And the cashier pointed to the first section on the back of the VR card which states, “load with cash”. After persuading them that I had done it before, they finally relented and let me buy 2.


update, Dan I hope you realize this, CVS, Walgreen no longer sell vanilla reload with CC, cash only is the new policy. Dont know about vanilla prepaid, I ll try that and see what happen.


I guess the CVS & Walgreens that I visited yesterday didn’t get that cash only memo…


What happens if you take less than $500.00 (say $475.00) out at Citi as Dan mentioned. This way you’re not emptying the card and Vanilla should be happy.



bought mine at cvs today, no OD have them, just an update


My CVS accepted credit cards (Ink Bold) for the MVD.

Can anyone answer – is there a reason that we cannot deposit the Reloadable Vanilla (MVD) to our checking account? Do we have to go thru Bluebird?


why is Vanilla Reload much easier than MVD


Hi Dan, do you know if this trick would work at Bank of America? We don’t have a Chase or Citi branch in town. Thanks!


anyone having the same cvs not transferring funds issue this am like a few days ago?


I tried at chase and it won’t go thru for cash advance.

I already registered. I don’t know what to do


more details, first time, temp card etc


Temp card, doesnot work at chase, i guess will wait for a permanent card

What is the other way to get money out, someone mentioned square, how do we do that without the fees


Just go to another bank.


They tried at chase, but it failed authorization, wierd


I banged out a substantial amount today at Chase, go to another branch


@ace: So what did u ask,

I just went there and asked , can i get Cash advance on this card, that is it

She first denied, but then said, ok and tried and it failed


u must have the wrong card or go to another branch



i have the card on the left, myvanilla, will try another branch today


Have people been able to register two cards at once ? I am getting an error message


Each card that you purchase has a different number.


I Did MVD today. Bought from CVS and went to chase for the cash advance. no problems


i just did $500 MVD and cashed out at Chase. But I will say that the registration online took a lot longer than I thought, and asked for more personal info than I had anticipated. Someone said that you’re only allowed to register 3 temporary cards. How are you able to do more than that? I would assume that if you tried to load/reload the permanent card with VR and cash out, you’d get shut down.


Also, has anybody found a max number of MVD you can take to a bank to cash out? I’m guessing if I walked into Chase or Citi with 5x $500 MVD, this would raise some red flags.


Umang, aren’t the perm cards less desireable? You have to load them with VR, which are in short supply in many places. With the black MVD, you just take it to a bank and cash out.


Cashed 2 x $500 MVDs at Chase. No problems, questions.

Khmer girl

Could you cash out Amex by Target at a bank
Using cash advance method?


Tayar, when you registered the 2 MVDs, the system didn’t detect that your SSN was already in their system?



I registered each card separately.


Is the white card in the image related to the standard vanilla reload? or is that different? I went to a family dollar and they only had the black card in the image and the white card….what’s the differnce betwean the two?


Guys….these vanilladebit card guys are crappy. I have not received my cards even after 3 weeks of registration.

There help line number 1-855-686-9513 is another piece of crap. No one ever picks up the phone even if you keep entering your card number properly. The prompts just don’t respond and you are holding in vacuum.

There is no other way to get a replacement card instead of calling.

Has any of you has had any luck in calling these guys and getting a replacement card?

Dan – any suggestions?



anyone having problems registering yesterday/today? bank said “their system must be effed, another customer had a problem earlier”. One went thru, the other gets hung up registering.


For the people who successfully get cash advance, did you have to register the cards online first?


I just found the answer to my question after reading every comment above.

David R

I bought a MVD. It says that “Over the counter cash withdrawal” has a $1.95 fee. Is this a new fee?


Do you think that this works?
1. Buy Myvanilla reloadable debit card ($500).
2. Buy 4 more Vanilla Reloadable and reload myvanilla. ($2000)
3. Cash out $2500 from the bank.


Is it possible to reload the temporary card with vanilla prepaid reloadable?

David R

@songs: Yes, it is possible to use the card in the right side of the photo to add value to the card on the left side of the photo. I did it.

David R

@songs: I think it works. This is what I plan to do, because it is the maximum over-the-counter withdrawal amount you can get for one $1.95 fee. I assume if the card has exactly $2500 on it, you would have to ask the bank for only $2498.05 to allow for the fee to be deducted.

Jack L

@ David R,
What is the $1.95 fee you speak of? I thought comments above said cash advances were free? Thanks.

David R

@Jack L: The fee was disclosed both in the fine print page that came with the MyVanilla debit card I bout and in the terms I had to agree to when registering it online.
Notice that my comment (#92) ends with a question mark. I would like to hear from Dan and others if this fee was charged.
It might be a new fee, as I just bought my card yesterday. Or it possibly could have been deducted from the MyVanilla account of everyone who cashed out at the bank, but only after the withdrawal, so that they were not prevented from withdrawing the full balance. If that’s the case, they would now owe MyVanilla $1.95 (and ought to pay it back to stay on their good side).


Isn’t there a fee to own myvanilla? And does it have billpay like bluebird also?


Fees : 3.95 activation but it said each additional load is 3.95 . So does that mean I pay 3.95 to load vanilla and using vanilla to load the myvanila will cost another 3.95? also can I use it to pay bill like blue bird?


I was able to get a cash advance from 3 MyVanilla cards at BOA today. No fee. I was able to cash out all the money loaded on the cards originally. Too bad you can only have 3 cards per SSN.

David R

@gocong: Did the fine print page that came with your card mention the Over the Counter Cash Withdrawal fee of $1.95? BOA would not know about the fee, but MyVanilla may have deducted it from the account afterwards (which would bring your balance below zero). Can you log in to your MyVanilla account online to see if they subsequently charged the $1.95 fee? Their intent is that you keep the MyVanilla Visa as a permanent card and add value to it as needed. (It’s even FDIC insured!) Why would you need more than three of them? You can add value to it with Prepaid Reload cards.

@leslie: There is a $3.95 fee when you buy the MyVanilla Visa. There is a $3.95 fee when you buy the Prepaid Reload card. There is no fee when you use the Prepaid Reload card to add value to the MyVanilla Visa.


@David R: Yes, the fine print does mention Over the Counter Cash Withdrawal fee of $1.95. I logged in to MyVanilla account and saw that they charged 50 cents for the cash advance transaction. Well,the problem is I am unable to find any Vanilla Reload card in CVS stores in my area. I think you can only load MyVanilla with VR cards or direct deposit. I need to meet some spending requirement, and this MyVanilla helps a bit. That’s why I want to get as many MyVanilla cards as possible. Hopefully, I’ll find a store that sells VR card.


hmm my cash withdrawal was just declined on a temp card. Anyone else had similar experience?


@kshahk: Have you activated your cards yet? My spouse and I were able to get cash advance from 6 cards for the last two day without any problem.


@gocong: I was able to get cashback yesterday on other cards from Chase. But this morning on new cards (yes I did activate them) got declined. This could be result of one of following:

– I have done this several times and MyVanilla cought up with me, I hope not.
– Now full $500 cannot be withdrawn, due to cashback fees.
– Cashback no longer works.
– Rep at Chase did not do cashback properly, this is unlikely.

I am looking forward to experience others have had starting today to see whats going on. What do you guys think I should do now? Contact MyVanilla, just wait and try again after a day or so at another bank, attempt to use this as regular CC?



wait awhile try tomorrow


I have 4 vanilla gift cards and I have called the reps at the site some tell me yes i can do the reload others tell me no. they tell me im stuck with the cards. The stores tell me I can not buy reloadable cards with the gift cards because its “MONEY LAUNDERING” so here i am trying to get the so cal other cards to activate at home and add money i right or wrong for this one?


I have been doing cash advance on my permanent vanilla card since October. Last Saturday my attempt to get a cash advance on my card was declined…I have never been declined before…now I am very worried.


keep us up to date probably just a glitch


Could you please explain how the AmX Bluebird cards works once they are reloaded with a vanilla reload. Specifically what I want to know is does it work just like any bank debit card?
Is there a credit check in applying for it? Please explain the card as best you can.
Also, with the Chase Freedom (first quarter 2013) 5% drug store purchases is it a good idea to purchase a vanilla reload with this card?
In a nutshell can you go through the process from step one of purchasing a vanilla reload to how it is used with the AMX bluebird card. This whole process is probably easy but I am having difficulty grasping it.
Thanks so much. I hope you have the time to educate me on this in my state of confusion.


transaction denied when trying the My Vanilla cash advance. Anyone else run into problems recently?


temp or permanent card?


ace, cash advance SUCCESS with my permanent card at Bank of America today;however, too chicken to attempt cash advance again at Chase,which declined my transaction on 12-15-12.


Is there anyone who tried cash advance more than $1,000?
Because of $1.95 fee per cash advance, I think that more amount of cash advance will be economical.


songs, the cash advance fee for the permanent card is only 50 cents, not $1.95. I have successfully cash advanced significantly more than $1,000 at a time. I have been doing this since October.


Thank you for the reply.
If the fee is only 50 cents, it’s great!


is the cash advance showed as purchase or something else on the online statement? Thanks


Bryan, it does not list it as a cash advance;however, it lists the bank where you did your cash advance. I hope that helps.


your welcome songs.


After cashing out all money from a MVD, this MVD card is no longer to be re-used. We have to buy a new MVD card, right?


For anyone that’s gone the cash advance route. If you cash advance $500 off a $500 card and then you log into the site and look at your card history, is your card now $0.50 in arrears? Or were you only able to cash advance $499.50? Thanks.


I found MVD’s at a CVS on Lex and 52nd and another on 10th and 42nd… They had plenty…


To all of you who have a Chase Freedom card. Many of the drug stores have the one vanilla card. For $4.95 you can buy one of these cards from $50 – $500. Chase Freedom, for Jan to end of March 2013 offers 4 X the amount of purchase at drug stores plus the one point for the actual purchase price. So, for a $500 (actually $505.95) you can get 2500 points on your Chase Freedom card. I called the 800 vanilla phone number and was told that it is up to the discretion of the merchant in allowing this purchase. So I plan to try using this. Keep us all posted for anyone using this purchase method.


Error Re: cost of purchasing one vanilla card for $500. It would cost $504.95 not $505.95. NOTE: This is NOT the vanilla reload card !!!


Anyone-anyone-calling to “see if its ok”, listen, DO NOT CALL, unless DO NOT CALL EVER, except DO NOT EVER EVER EVER CALL. Understand?


I have heard some people said that we will receive 1099 for cash advance at the end of this year. If we receive 1099 form for this activity, I think it is not worth to do it.
Any opinion?


In addition, we will also receive SAR from the bank where we cash out. Do you think it it worth if we receive 1099s and SAR?


@Ace – good advice. Should be automatically posted every 3rd comment on every blog…

Curious how many MVDs one can get? I have no VRs in my area and so 3 MVDs is almost pointless. But if you get a temp card and register, then get cash advance, can you then cancel and get another? And repeat?


Anyone read the fine print mentioned you will be charged 3.95 if your card do not have activity after 90 days? how you guys handle that


any answers? Honestly at this point I just want to ditch the card but i’m worried i’ll be charged. Can you deactivate it?


you use the card, you idiot



Just to get this straight, VR I cant go do a cash advance at my local chase, citi bank, I would have to transfer it to Bluebird but with the MVD I can do a cash advance at chase and get cash, is that correct???

Also can I use a Amex Platinum card to buy the VR and MVD and will it count towards my spending threshold?

Please if you can answer me I will be greatfully appreciative!


Lol, there’s no 1099, that’s ridiculous.

Sure, if you are pulling out $10K they’ll file a SAR.
They’re not filing a SAR for a few small cash advances.




So why would I add a step and buy the VR and have to open a Bluebird account if I can buy the MVD with a CC and cash them out at my local bank.

Thank you in advance for the answer as I am new to this and just trying to figure it all out.


CA success at Chase. No questions asked.
Anyone figure out the maximum number of MVD’s that can be registered to each social?
Also, if my use my wife’s social to register the cards, does anyone know if I can do the CA without her being there?


Can my husband buy the MVD’s, register them with my SSN, sign them with his name and then cash them out at a bank? Or, is it if my ssn is attached, then I have to be the one to cash them out?


I’m missing something and I cant seem to figure it out. I understand the whole process except I don’t understand how one could spend whatever amount of money without having to eventually pay your credit card company. You’d earn the points, transfer to BB, pay your credit company the amount you put on the VR.. but ar’nt you still out the money you spent originally? I’m missing how you got your $3K back?


BB is done at your computer without the need to go to a bank!

There is no name on the temp card, so that would work.

-Buy $3K of VR with cc
-Transfer $3K to BB
-Pay off $3K cc bill from BB.
Not sure what’s not to understand here.


@Dan: I believe the question here is if the name the card was registered under needs to match the ID presented at the bank?


Can I use a Citi credit card to buy a mvd without getting a CA fee?


there are a lot of idiots in this blog Dan


I just got my Bluebird Amex card.However when I have asked about points rewards for paying with the card NO ONE knew what I am talking about and a supervisor denied any such thing exists!!! Anyone knows why?


Dan, these idiots in your blog makes me sick to my stomach. Please educate them so that I do not have to read their very stupid comments.


Hi Dan,

My Vanilla has no monthly fees but let say I load first $500 and then no activity for 90 days , I will be charge 3.95? So I need to buy vanilla reloads to load the fund to it every 90 days to avoid the dormancy fee? Also can you load my vanilla with credit card at cvs or do you have to buy vanilla and go online to load my vanilla? Thanks


Shut this thread down before I puke


Dan, does that mean wherever I go to get a cash advance from my MVD to Citibank or Chase bank, that I have to have/get an account there? Do I speak to a teller or do I just use the atm machine?

Thanks Dan as usual.


Can’t we pay bills directly from MVD? Why wouldn’t that be the optimal and easiest of all the options discussed above?


all you newbies, get off your a&& and do what everyone else did, read, then do, stop exposing the entire world


Went to Office Depot near Monsey today a Big Sign outside NOT SELLING VANILA CARDS
Then i went to Walgreens and a new policy they don’t sell Vanila Cards only for Cash!!!


I am new at this. Can somebody give me an easy to understand explanation of how Vanilla Cards work? Or tell me where I can go to find it? Also how do I get the Bluebird card?


@Brandi – Google is your friend.


Thank you for responding. I did Google. But got so many choices to pick. Not sure because I don’t totally understand it. I did figure out Bluebird but the Vanilla Cards is confusing me.


then perhaps you shouldn’t do it


Tried to reload MVD at CVS, Walgreens and Family Dollar- they will not accept credit cards- cash only. Any suggestions?

Disgruntled Lurker

You guys are going to abuse this into oblivion, like every other deal. Ask yourselves — if you’re a major creditor and you see this perk being abused — people withdrawing the exact amounts recently deposited, rinse and repeat — would you keep it active? But everyone’s too short sighted, greedy and selfish to pause and consider the ramifications.


No, drive on. Once this dries up, another play will show it’s face………get over it, this is how we play the game


How long does it take to get a permanent MVD in the email? I’m at 15 days and counting…


Great post thanks for the info. I will be doing some legwork tomorrow 🙂


My MVD took 23 days to come via mail. Ordered online without temp card.


How do I transfer from myvanilla to bluebird?


Is there a fee to go to a bank and transfer the funds from MVD to my bank account? beacause blubird charges $2 for every load & also says only $100 per day of loading from debit cards


So I have my bluebird and not really knowing I was doing I bought a MVD thinking it was a VR card. Can I take the MVD to walmart and load it to bluebird that way?


I Bought Seven Of ThesE just Tried To Cash Advance At Chase And CIti And got denied For Both…Help Please! BothTimes I Tried $500

David R

@kyle: Did they refuse to run the card or did they run it and it got declined? If the former, try another branch. If the latter, know that you need to register the cards online to make them active. Did you do that? If you did, you should be able to log in to the web site and verify the available balance. Make sure you are not trying to withdraw more than that amount at the bank.

Some bank branches get suspicious when you try to use a card with no name imprinted on it. If all the branches you try are refusing to run it for that reason, wait for your permanent card with your name on it.


@David R: I activated all of them online.
1st loacation initially refused to try until I convinced them, then they said it doesnt work.
2nd location said it got declined


Kyle, did you have the MVD or the VR cards. I used the MVD for $500 ‘cash advance’ without problem. Haven’t tried the VR yet.


@Tayar: I tried the MVD. I don’t know, I’ll just try it again today.


Meanwhile; I transfered all the balances to on card, so I now have $3500 on one card. Whats the max cash advance?


does anyone know if banks in Lakewood area allow cash advance on these without fees? and without having to have an acct with them?
after the first time how do u earn the extra points if you reload them? can the reload be done also with credit card?


CVS NY said they allow a max on any gift card/MVD/Reload of $200. any idea why? they would allow buying 5 cards of $200 each, and each would come with a separate fee.

anyone in nyc was able to get a card for higher than $200? was there any issue?


So, you can buy two $500 MVD cards at CVS and combine them the balance into $1000 one card?
Or you have to wait for your permanent card with your name on it, and then combine them all after you received the permanent card?


I tried my amex and sapphire preferred at family dollar denied

And went to a cvs and they told me i cant use cc for prepaid ots corperate policy


CVS has a deal on the DOT cards, do those work with anything other than Amazon Payments?


correct me if I’m wrong, but the inactive fee wont be charged if you have no funds in the account?
is there any benefit to using the MVD account other than avoiding the fee, which isn’t necessary if they don’t charge it when you have a $0 balance?


@avi: Is there a sale on the DOT cards?


@Yoni: I’ve gotten cards of $500 each on 3 separate occasions.


I was able to do a Cash Advance on the MVD with no issue @ WellsFargo. Thanks for the information.

What should I do with the MVD cards after the cash advance? can they be discarded?


911 I didn’t realize I bought one vanilla what can I do with them

David R

@Yoni: It very much depends on the cashier on duty. You might get a different result at the same store at another time of the day.

@kyle: My understanding of the fine print was that the maximum cash advance is $2500. However, when I asked the bank teller for $2500, she thought she heard me say $3500 and entered that amount. It was approved.


just curious why the banks do the cash advance on the credit cards? do they make money on the CA transactions?


Hi Dan… I opened an ink bold card and hoped to use it to pay a large monthly bill…This week, I was told by the 2 Office Depot in my area that Office Depot has stopped selling the $500 Visa gift cards and only offer $200 gift cards. They received an email from corporate headquarters that Office Depot will no longer have $500 gift cards available. In addition, the Office Max in my area only has $200 Visa gift cards.
The fee for the $200 gift cards is the same as the fee was for the $500 gift cards. I belive $4.95.
There is no Staples in my area.
I wanted to use my ink bold card, which I need to still spend $3,5000 to get the sign up bonus and I wanted to get the 5x points at the office suppyl store. I am not sure it is worth it if it has to be done with $200 cards. Then add the vanilla reload cost… Please advise!


I’ve purchased at least 12 of the MVD and got CAs at various banks with no problem & no fees. Also, I received a “permanent” MVD in the mail for each temporary MVD bought. Personally, I discard the temp ones after CAs and keep the “permanent” ones only because they have my name on them. But I only activated one permanent one and then continue to transfer new temp MVD balances (I.e. $500) to the same permanent card. This makes it easier to keep up with and banks prefer the card with a name on it. Good luck!


I received a cash advance from my MVD (permanent) card last Friday. Currently, I have a negative balance, as the pending transaction never fell off my account even though the same transaction also appears as completed.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? It seems unusual that the transaction is still pending almost a week later.

J Heineken

On March 8 my two relatively new MVD cards were placed on hold. I called the 855 number on the back of the card and was told I needed to send identification and a copy of my Social Security card. I did as they requested.
I have not heard back from them nor called them.

As this happened to anyone else?


The cash advance seem too good to be true. What does the bank get out of providing a cash advance on a MVD?

If they actually do this that’s fine. It just seems like they are accepting risk with no penalty to the customer.



Can you please explain how you “transfer” $500 from the temporary MVD to the permanent MVD.

I thought you could only have 3 x MVD per SSN. Are you saying you do not have to register each temporary MVD?

This would be excellent as I can buy plenty MVDs but cannot buy VRs

Jose A

I had my card shut down Friday. I called in Saturday and was asked for copies of my ID and ss card. I submitted them Monday. Called Tuesday and was politely told I could no longer be a customer because I used my card in ways the bank had not intended. My card was re activated and I emptied it that day. I asked what my info was going for and was told it was only being used to establish my identity and nothing else.

That’s my experience.


Hi Just picked up 2 MVD’s at CVS went online set up the account and activated 1 card the other one gets an error message saying ” unable to activate? do i need to start a new account to activate the second card or should i call customer service? Thanks


I found this thread by googling MyVanilla. While I am not on the quest for air miles, my issue is that it seems someone is using these cards and also using my address to have the permanent cards sent to. Happened twice in the past two weeks. Two different people I have never heard of.

Called their customer service which SUCKS. I had no pin so had to wait til their automated voice system got tired of circling and sent me to a live breathing rep. That took 10+ minutes . The CSR was nice enough but full of crap. I asked who this product is marketed to.. she said EVERYONE. I asked if they did any checks when issuing the cards, “yes of course” but now I see that you can buy them in CVS so that was a lie.

In the end she told me if it happens again to file a police report and the Better Business Bureau. I’m not sure what the BBB could do except that I could make a complaint about MyVanilla. Oh yeah, she swears up and down there is only that one phone number for the entire company. The whole thing was very sketchy especially considering my previous experience with credit card comps (having had a ton of them and having worked for one).

I would simply stay away, between the fees, the poor customer service and now a seeming scam I wouldnt want them to have any of my personal information.


is there a limit to how much a month i can do on these cards?


Went to my CVS in Vegas to buy Vanilla card using CC. They won’t accept CC anymore.
My friend in Newark CA has the same problem. We had no problem 2 weeks ago. Is CVS changing the policy on Vanilla Card purchase using CC.
Has anyone purchased VC using CC the last few days?


Yes, in Cleveland.


The vanilla card is useless. All I wanted to do was pay for my netflix, since the bank was closed I decided to purchase a vanilla card. They charged me a dollar more than advertised to purchase it. I proceeded to try to register the card to myself so I could make my netflix purchase. The website didn’t activate it. I called the customer service line. They told me after getting all my information that they couldn’t identify me as a person in a federal database and therefore couldn’t activate it (I am a 30 yr old adult with 2 bank accounts and bills in my name, how do I not exist tied to my social security number?). They told me they could activate it as a gift card. Why would i have spent 5 dollars on a gift card i can’t really use anywhere since it’s not activated as a debit/credit card. They wouldn’t try activating it under my boyfriend since they had already tried under me. My boyfriend purchased a card a few days later insistent that he would be able to activate it under himself. Same reason, bank closed for the weekend. They apparently found him as a person, but would not/could not pay netflix. What’s the point? Never again!!!!


this card sucks. and customer service is horrible


im having the same problem as emily only mine wont work after all that


Which card can I use online at international vendors? Also would I be able to use that temporary card for international use?
Thanks so much


i purchased multiple cards and had 6 of them active @ the same time and had success making a $500 cash advance @chase tho when i wanted 2 activate another card it didn’t allow me 2 so i canceled 2day 3 empty cards . just nerves about my credit being that they have my s.s. & when i checked my account b 4 closing i sew there was -$1.95 4 the cash advance i wonder if when i close it leaving that there dose it effect my credit?


How many temporary card for each SSN? anybody knows?


what i dont get is you have to pay money to use your money thats the dumbest bs ive ever heard


is it possible to get my vanilla card through the mail?


i went to signed up for one will get it in the mail 7 – 10 days. click on get started select dont have a card now. this is good for people living in brooklyn that cant find the card with reload option. you reload the card online. this way also saves u the fee when u purchase from a store. please comment to tell me if this is the same card


Robert said:
The max card with a SSN is 3. So If you signed up for 3, you can no longer sign up any cards with that SSN. This is a dead end.

Dan replied:
Maybe, maybe not 🙂

Is that a hint that Dan did not put in a legit SSN or knows some other hock he is not letting loose?



Tnx dan. Got 2 and did cash advance at chase in ny (bought in Miami)…wudda gotten more next day but amex put security hold on my card…


@Dan i need your input: after i did $500 cash advance, i called mvd to see if i had a balance…i did, a negative $1.95 balance on each card for the cash advance…do you think i should ignore it, or because they have my ss# from when i registered the card, i should pay it off so as not to hurt my credit…please advise


I’d ignore it.


@Dan what about comment 203?


If i deposit $1000 from my vanilla reload into my bluebird account- does this work like a regular bank account? ie- does it show up as “making $1000”. Maybe i dont want my bank account to show a constant flow of cash…


I live in Lakewood, found the MVD at the CVS on New Hampshire and Rt 88. Bought 2 cards for $500 each. They said the $5.00 extra bucks was only for a different kind of Visa gift card (says so in the ad). I had a real difficult time registering and activating. I also found the VR at the Waelgreens in Howell, but they limited my purchase to $500 and it had to be paid for in cash (which did not help me). Tomorrow I will try to cash it out at Chase and will let everyone know how that goes.


Had no problem cashing the MVD cards at Chase. The teller said she doesn’t know of any limit, so I will go after I purchase enough for my $5,000 spending threshold.


Dan, question for you. Can Waelgreens (or any store) say that VR cards are payable with cash ONLY? Is that legal?


I bought another 2 cards today and tried activating them, but My Vanilla refused to allow me to do it. They said I was using their cards the wrong way and offered to turn it into a gift card (not able to cash it out) or refund me the money (which would take 3-4 weeks). They said I was cashing it out right away, which is not their intention for the card.


If I buy a temporary myvanilla card with lets say $100 cash. Then I go activate it. Can I reload that temporary card with a vanilla reload? or do I do have wait for the permanent one?


I spoke to different people at chase a couple times and they all said they “don’t do cash advances” any other ideas?


Eli when you went to chase what did you tell them?


@Nosson: I said I wanted a cash advance, exactly as Dan said to do…

I do have Chase account, so I deposited it into the account, but they were ready to give me the cash, no problems.


when activate myvanilla they now ask for social number. any way to avoid it?

how do I cancel a card so can buy more? I think u can have total of 3. is that correct?

whne close account, what is the reason u explain? can u close on automated system or need to talk to them?


Joe s

“Then I went down the block to Citibank,”? Pray tell, Dan, where were you? Is there a Citibank in CLE somewhere? If so, please share. I have been trying to keep my long term relationship with them going but it’s tough when you have to do EVERYTHING online. Thanks.

Nechama brand

Just took my vanilla cards to Walmart to pay a credit card bill and reach my spending threshold and was told they don’t take them anymore. They said I have to go to an ATM to get the money off the cards and then can pay the bill.


I’m in Pittsburgh.

I bought two MVDs at CVS for 500 each with a 3.95 activation fee each. I paid with my brand new Sapphire card. No problem.

I activated both cards online. No problem.

I walked into PNC and took out 500 dollar cash advances on each. No problem.

Total cost = 7.90
Value to me = 1,000 miles, and I have finished a third of the 3,000 dollar spend.


Just an update… like MANY other commenters on this thread, I do have a negative balance of 1.95 on each card that I pulled cash advances from.

I see that Dan’s only comment was “ignore it,” but I am wondering if that’s so smart. After all, these cards are registered to our SS#. Any input on this?


Would be interested to find out too about what people are doing after being left with a negative balance. Have 2 x 500’s in my possession (registered to my name/ssn) and still not sure the best way to cash them out, and wary about leaving with -ve balance.


Can you use the temporary card or do you have to wait until thee personalized one comes?

David R

@Nosson: Go to another Chase branch.
@Freddie: If they wanted you to pay up, they could simply ask. They have your address and email address, right? (I am retracting what I said in the end of comment #98.)
@eli: After not doing any transaction for a few months, I tried to log in and got an error. I called and was told they decided to close my account because I loaded it up and then cashed out soon after. There was a negative balance (due to the cash advance fee) at the time I spoke to them. They never asked me to pay it. By the way, don’t leave funds in the account for three months without doing any transaction because they will charge the $3.95 monthly fee.
@Bahja: You can use and reload the temporary card. Some bank tellers might notice that there is no name on the card and refuse to give a cash advance, but you can try other banks until you find someone who will do it. The transaction should be approved with the temporary card if there are sufficient funds and everything is in order.


Ive read the post and all the comments and i still am not clear, what exactly is a cash advance? they give me the money from the card and they get the money from vanilla?

also, i went into a walgreens tonight and they said i cant buy the reload card with cc, is that policy?


just an update, although in my last comment i mentioned i dont know what a cash advance is(i still dont lol) i went to chase(where i have an account but some people said you dont need to) and they asked for id and for my adress other than that nothing else. is that standard to ask me for that? please let me know thanks!


How do you feel about green dot reloadable cards. Much more available than vanilla rewards and you can withdraw from atm


I was trying to buy the Vanilla Reload ones only.


I got the One Vanilla by mistake!!
Is there anyway to transfer it???


Sure. See DDF.


Sorry, if this is redundant.
Dont get it!
I signed up up for My vanilla.
How do I transfer One vanilla to My vanilla, I don’t see an option?????

nathaniel shalom

hi dan i love your site
i cant seem to find an office depot that can accept cc for vanilla they said they dont do that anymore only cash (im talking outside nyc like MN)
does cvs accept cc for vanilla? or anyone else

Shimmy A

I went to a CVS to buy Vanilla reload cards and also found ebay cash cards too! I was able to get $500 ebay cash cards for the same $3.95 fee. You have a $500/day $4000/month limit on ebay but it works!

Shimmy A

Sorry I meant paypal cash cards not ebay.


Paypal will ban you before you can blink.

Shimmy Atlas

@Dan: why?

Shimmy Atlas

@Dan: Dan, 1st of all Mazel tov. 2nd, I emailed a whole story to paypal why I got the cards, loaded it onto my paypal account and why I changed my mind and this was there response ”

We truly thank you for completing the confirmation of your bank account that ends in 4286 and providing us with your Social Security Number. Because of this, you can definitely withdraw all your funds to your bank account and be assured that the transfer will go smoothly.

When you open a PayPal account, there is a limit to the amount of money you can withdraw to your bank account or by check. This limit has been put in place to ensure the safety of our network by verifying information from the PayPal account holders. Since you already completed the verification of your bank account and your Social Security Number, your withdrawal limit has been permanently lifted.”


MVD need to register.
do u need to cancel once card is used up? who do u call?
how many MVD can you have at any specific time?
would used uncancelled be on your way to activate new ones?
Thank you


same question as Ari. It seems now when you call in to activate new card, they dont allow to do that until you cancel your used up cards. And those cards have a negative balance.


Hey, i’m playing catch up for the last couple months. Sorry to take it back so long.
1- Do you know what the current limit is, daily and monthly for loading vanilla reloads onto the my vanilla debit card?
2- To your knowledge, cash advance still work at bank with my vanilla debit?
3- Do you know the current daily and monthly limit for cash advance at bank using the my vanilla debit card (if yes to #2)?


I went to cvs and swiped my vanilla card at the red box for mvies and it wouldn’t let me pay for the movie when I swiped .. any reason why it didn’t ?

Krystal Siewert

Do you have to buy the cards with a credit card or can you use your debit card or cash??

Joe Robinson jr

When i go purchase a vanilla reload card dont i get the card to register when i want and if my daughter is in college i could just get the reload card and tell her the numbers off the back

John Smith

you cant even buy these with credit anymore! Cash only!


Can you tell me where on the card is the card number


What is your phone number


can you use this card without registering


I’d like to sign up for a card


Where Is The Card Number Located ?


@Thingywingy: 7-11


I HAVE AN IMPORTANt QUESTION: Can you tell me when you buy a my vanilla card and make an initial deposit, when the new personalized card is sent to you does the new card use the same card number as the temporary card or is a brand new card with a different account number how up? and do you have to establish a new pin?

Thank you the customer service line does suck and I think they are scammers



Can I trust them with my SSN?